A Place to Share Sewing & Quilting Experiences

Posts tagged ‘general quilting’

Let’s Play Catch Up – It Has Been Way Too Long

This post is going to have a lot of different types of projects.  It has been so long since I’ve posted and many projects have come and gone.  Let’s rewind the clock back to August 2014.  I’m getting ready to send my one and only sweet daughter off to college and emotions are running high.  One of our co-workers was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months earlier.  We wanted to make her a comforting quilt to get her through the hard days ahead with surgery and treatments.  We made simple blocks with a place in the center for everyone in our company to sign well-wishes and prayers to her.  Here’s the quilt and a few close ups.

Pat Signature Quilt

Pat Signature Quilt Close UPPat Signature Quilt Border Close UP


Second project, before my daughter went off to college, she wanted to make a rug for her new dorm room to match her comforter set.  We went to our local Goodwill store and bought up a bunch of t-shirts.  She cut them into strips and rolled them up in balls.  Then she took three colors at a time and braided the rug.  My job was to sew together the braided rows into a circular rug.  It turned out really cute and she used it her first year of college in her dorm room.  Here’s the photo!

Abby Dorm Rug


Fast forward to the fall season.  My daughter and I had started a Halloween quilt together many years and due to crazy schedules, it got put on the shelf.  After she went to college, I wanted to finish it for her dorm bed for Halloween.  It was emotional dragging it back out, but I’m glad I did.  She enjoyed it during the Halloween season.  I also made a Halloween pillowcase/sham to go with it.

Halloween pillowcaseHalloween Quilt Close UPAbby Halloween Quilt

Another fun Halloween project was this machine embroidery free-standing lace coffin.  Lots of pieces, but way fun to put together and even more fun to decorate with!  This design was from OESD!

Free Standing Lace Coffin

For our annual Fall Fest meeting, I finished a quilt top of the raffle blocks I’d won at a previous full chapter meeting (I think it was the previous Spring Fest).  I may have already posted some of those blocks, but here’s the finished top.  It is on my “UFO to do List” that I plan on finishing this year.  I just need to decide if it needs a border to pull it all together and we’re off.

Raffle Block Close Up Raffle Block quilt

Prior to our Fall Fest our chapter got together to make pillowcases for charity (the chapter hosting the above Fall Fest event asked for these).  Our chapter made all these great pillowcases.  They took little time to make and were so much fun.  Plus it is always fun to have an excuse to get with your quilting friends and sew, sew, sew!

My pillowcases My pillowcases 2 Moonlighters Pillowcases More Moonlighters pillowcases

OK, enough for this time.  I’ll start up next time with the Christmas projects of that year.  Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting…




Spring Garden Path Quilt – A Positive Frame Experience

I spent Saturday quilting one of my many unfinished tops on my Bernina quilt frame.  I took my time and didn’t rush through things.  I also read my old notes, and made new ones.  I think the key to having success using the frame, Quilt Motion and my Bernina 830 is to do it on a regular basis.  Each time I finish another quilt, I learn something new.  I should be an expert by now don’t you think?  No, really I have not had as much experience as many of you out there.  Please chime in if you have something that has or hasn’t worked for you.  We would love to hear from you.

Here are some of the preparatory steps I took this time around that I feel helped it be a successful venture.  I made sure all the lint and thread remnants were gone from the bobbin area. I oiled the machine and I slowed the speed in the software down to slow (instead of medium). I found my perfect tension was 3.0 in the software. It didn’t seem to make a difference what I set the machine on. I also used a high quality thread in the bobbin (which goes against my cheap nature). I used Superior’s Masterpiece in the bobbin and King Tut for the top thread.

I was quite pleased with the results.  I did experiment a little between the first couple of rows with the tension.  I originally had it set to 3.5, but could see a tiny bit of the bobbin coming up to the top.

Here are a couple of photos of the quilting.  I guess I don’t know if the cleaning and oiling did the trick, or the slowing down the machine speed or the different thread.  All I know it is worked and I’m going with the same setup next time which is going to be very soon.  I’ve had a king-sized quilt top that needs to be quilted for a dear friend and I must get to it.  I am hoping the quilt isn’t too large for the frame.  I think it will just fit.  I’d hate to have to do it just on the 830 even with the large quilting space it has.

"Spring Garden Path Quilting"


"Close Up Quilting"

I’m so happy with the back that I’ll share the quilting with you.  Since I used the same color as the backing as the thread, it is a little hard to see the quilting.  I played around with the levels in Photoshop so hopefully you can see how nice it came out.  I did have an issue when the bobbin ran out.  I haven’t come up with a good way to change the bobbin without having to cancel the design so I can move the machine out to get to the bobbin.  When it ran out at the end.  I just left it in its locked position, and reached way in, changed the bobbin although it was painful and was able to retrace the design and get it lined up perfectly.  If any of you have tips on bobbin changing, I’d love to hear them.

"Back Quilting"

I have to mention a great new class I’m taking on Craftsy.com (love that website).  I’m taking Mimi Dietrich’s Finishing School:  Edges and Bindings.  Sure, I know how to bind a quilt, but I’ve never quite gotten the technique of that last joining of the binding ends.  I’ve always straight sewed them and never liked it.  Mimi shared her technique which is super easy (I got it right the first time) and I had a great seamless looking binding.  I love learning something new.  She has a lot of fun ways to add edging and such to a quilt binding to dress it up.  I also learned how to use the backing of the quilt as binding (haven’t tried it yet) but she made it look really easy.

Here’s the finished Spring Garden Path quilt.  I finished hand sewing the hanging sleeve just moments ago and it is ready to be displayed somewhere…just where is the question of the day.

"Spring Garden Path Quilt"

Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting,


Batik Stacked Rails

I finally made it around to piecing yet another top of a quilt kit I bought at one of those fun quilt shows.  This kit was really a bargain and I loved the colors, so of course who can resist that?  The next few weeks until school is out are going to be crazy, so I wanted to share this top before forgetting completely about it in the early summer rush of activity.  I have to credit my daughter with the layout for this kit.  The directions said you could follow one of the included layouts of which there were none.  There was a photo of the quilt (partial) so you could get the idea of how it was supposed to look.  I turned her loose and went with what she came up with.  As usual her good eye for design helped me out.  A couple of my quilts are team efforts…sometimes I need a fresh young eye.

Here’s the top.

"Batik Stacked Rails"

Now to plan the quilting.  I’m still considering a reserving a week this summer for nothing but putting these finished tops on my quilt frame and having a marathon quilt finishing session.   I may even invited a few friends that want a frame down the road to come do some test driving and see what Quilt Motion can do.   I know it will feel good at the end and most likely be fun doing, but finding the time is the big challenge.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting!


Me Vs. The T-Shirt Quilt & Frame

Today was the big day (well yesterday was really when I got started) that I would do battle with my t-shirt quilt and the quilt frame and get this project well on its way.  I finally (with the help of my very tech savvy hubby) got the pieces in place to upgrade Quilt Motion on my quilt frame.  By Thursday I got the backing on the frame.  I had decided since due to the stretchy nature of this quilt that I would float it on the frame rather than loading it on the front rail.  Even now, I’m not sure if that was wise or not.  I had been so proud of myself for creating the pantographs in advance and putting them on a USB stick to get ready for the quilting.  Then I realized that making a 14″ pantograph was a very silly thing to do since I can only quilt about an 7-8″ height on my machine.  Oops, back to the drawing board.  I measured the length of the quilt and came up with 7″ row height for my pantographs.  I used a simple curly wave design and my favorite variegated King Tut thread.

Now the fun began. I took a deep breath and dove into the quilting.  Row one near the end was a big disaster.  I didn’t pin the quilt top down at the top because I wanted to get the quilting very close up there.  Bad idea.  The foot got caught under the top and ripped the top and broke the needle.  BIG lesson learned.  When I tried the second time to finish the row, I used 505 temporary basting spray and that worked like a charm.  Then in the process of fixing the needle, thread and everything else…my silly laptop decided to reboot due to a Windows 7 update…thank you Microsoft, ugh!  Once I got through my tantrum, I decided to finish the row with two of the motifs.  It didn’t quite line up, but it looks OK.  Of course it had to happen at the top of the quilt rather than hidden in the middle…just my luck.

Before going further, here’s a close up of one of the blocks.  Hopefully you can see the quilting.

"T-Shirt Quilting 1"

After two rows, I stopped working on it yesterday.  I wasn’t completely happy with the look of the back of the quilt either.  I was using that same Gutermann variegated thread I had trouble with on the last quilt.  I have decided it isn’t the same weight as my King Tut I use on the front, so maybe that was some of the issue.  After a row today, I switched to a King Tut in the bobbin and was much happier with the results.  Then issue #2 came on row three.  The bobbin ran out about 3/4 way to the end of the row.  Since the machine didn’t give the out of thread notice (not sure why it usually does) I couldn’t get it out of Quilt Motion without canceling the stitching.  If I canceled I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get back to the same spot.  So, I ran a new bobbin and tried to change the bobbin reaching under the quilt.  This went OK, but the back didn’t look happy.  Once the row finished, I re-threaded the top and the bobbin and had good results.

Here’s a close up of another block.  Unfortunately I didn’t use the camera’s flash, so the coloring on this one is a bit weird.

"T-Shirt Quilting 2"

The rest of the quilt went very well.  When I thought I was getting near the end of the bobbin, I’d run a new one and change before starting a new row…another good lesson learned.  I thought I might have to make the bottom row of the quilt shorter but the spacing worked out well.  I did do some calculations at the beginning, but I really didn’t expect it to turn out.

I was really holding my breath when I took the quilt off the frame.  Due to the stretchy nature of the quilt (even with the blocks interfaced), I was very afraid it wouldn’t hang right.  I wasn’t 100% happy with the left edge of the quilt.  It was a bit wonky since that is where the rows started every time.  Since I have the rip at the top of the quilt (thankfully only about a half inch down), I may just trim off a half to 3/4″ from the outside edge of the quilt to hide the rip and even things up.

OK, I’m a big perfectionist and this wasn’t a perfect quilt, but I have to say I’m pretty happy with it.  It is currently “resting” on my guest bed.  I had the door closed so a certain someone in my household wouldn’t pick it with her claws.  I was in checking on it one last time tonight and taking photos and my little friend decided it was hers to sleep on.  I can’t be mad at her…isn’t she so cute?  She immediately likes to get on any quilt I’m sewing on when it is in her reach.  A few times she’s even tried laying on one while I’m quilting it.

"T-Shirt Quilt Snowy 1"

Well here is one last peek at the quilt.  It was very hard to get a photo of, so with kitty still on it (I think she was giving herself a bath) I took the best shot I could get of it.  Putting the binding on it and creating the label will be a piece of cake.  Here’s “Chautauqua 2001 – 2010”.

"T-Shirt Quilt Snowy 2"

I know this was a long post, but I wanted to share all my “lessons learned” with you all before I forget them.  I know if I used the frame & software on a more regular basis, I wouldn’t have quite the trouble I have.  I may just take a couple months this summer and try to do a bunch of quilting all at once.  I’m stocking up on backings to go with finished tops.  I can dream can’t I?

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting!


Hello world!

Welcome to my quilting blog.  I’d love to share fun ideas, places to shop and innovative quilting techniques here.  Please feel free to participate…it will only be as good as all our input 🙂  I would like to start with charity quilting.  We as quilters love to give back to our community and the world.  Please share with me any cool charity projects you’ve done or even are thinking of doing.  I started doing the Downy Quilt for Kids program this Spring.  You can order a free kit on-line…you just piece, quilt add batting and mail back to them.  Quilts go to kids in the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals with chronic illnesses.  You can register your quilt through the free label they send you and track who gets your quilt and add a bio or story for your quilt.


Check out the organization Quilts For Kids too:


I’d love to hear from you.  I did order one kit, then made two other quilts to mail back.  Then my Girl Scout troop decided to do this project for our Silver Award this year as Cadettes.  We’re still working on our quilts and hope to get three of them done by the end of August.  Pix to come!

Thanks for taking the time to visit!